HIGHLAND — After 46 days, the wait is over for one of the top high school football programs in the state. Lone Peak dubbed Mike Mower as its new coach Thursday morning.
Typically, incoming coaches are delegated the difficult task of either restoring a program or building from the ground up. That’s not the case with the team Mower is inheriting.
Dating back to the 2008 season, the Knights have posted an overall record of 51-12 with four region championships under former coach Tony McGeary. Spanning the past three years alone, Lone Peak has advanced to the semifinals each season including its record-setting, 14-0 5A state title year in 2011.
McGeary resigned Feb. 25 after problems with a team camp and a sponsorship contract with an Under Armour dealer.
“I accepted the job to continue to build upon the first-class program coach McGeary put into place for the student-athletes at Lone Peak High school,” Mower said in a statement released to the Deseret News. “Coach McGeary’s first priority was always the positive personal growth of his players. That will continue to be my same priority. Coach McGeary is one of the most positive, caring and sincere individuals I know and that I’ve ever coached with. So, my focus will continue to be the individual players and their needs and I’m confident by doing that, it will translate into success on the football field. I hope to maintain the great tradition that he’s established at Lone Peak.”
After several years as an assistant at American Fork, Mower has spent the last three seasons on the Lone Peak sideline under McGeary. This is his first head coaching position.
“The main reason I accepted is for the young men,” said Mower, who will also teach U.S. history at Lone Peak. “I think it’s time to move on and have them be the focus. There’s just some extraordinary individuals at Lone Peak High school.”
Considering the entrenched knowledge Mower gained from McGeary, major changes schematically aren’t expected.
“I’m going to start out with really the core of what coach McGeary had,” said Mower, referring to the offensive routine as “upbeat” and “explosive." “Why try and change something that’s been so successful? I think that will be good for the young men, too, to realize that we’re not going to try and change something that isn’t broken.
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